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Patrick’s Puzzling Priorities; NIMBY Deval Doesn’t Care; The Rainbow Defense?; Medicare for All... Again

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Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Patrick’s Puzzling Priorities

Tom Vannah got it right in his column, “Our NIMBY Governor” (November 21, 2013): Deval Patrick is indeed “smug” and “tone deaf” and, furthermore, he has a strange set of priorities. He recently visited Monson to view a repaired church steeple. Meanwhile, we’re still waiting for full broadband access here in Huntington as well as in other Hilltowns. Patrick and our state and local politicians have been promising full broadband coverage for years, much money has been passed around to various groups, yet there’s still no universal broadband. New church steeple; no full broadband coverage. What’s more important to Gov. Patrick and the economic development of Western Massachusetts? Talk about “crappy economic development policy.”

NIMBY Deval Doesn’t Care

Voters in Plainville sent a letter to the governor weeks ago, outlining the ways in which we had been disenfranchised in the vote on the casino referendum on September 10. He never answered. Another missive was sent a couple of weeks ago after the gambling commission agreed to finish its vetting and suitability decisionmaking for Foxwoods in Milford, but had denied that very process to the people of Plainville for Penn National, the developer that had become the applicant for the slots license less than a week before our referendum. We turned to the governor as a last resort. We had hoped that he might intervene and help us, but instead we discovered that he doesn’t have enough respect for the voters even to acknowledge our letters.

Here’s a newsflash for the governor: the process isn’t working. Should the Massachusetts Gaming Commission award the slots license to Penn National, the voters of Plainville will be forced to go to the courts to get a ruling on the denial of equal protection. But the governor couldn’t care less. There will never be a casino in his town, though he’s perfectly happy to dump his and Speaker DeLeo’s garbage in my front yard.

Looks like more than one politician was bought and paid for by the casino lobby on the way to expanded predatory gambling in Massachusetts. Our only recourse now is to pass a ballot question that will repeal the casino deal and kill the legislation.

 

The Rainbow Defense?

Oh, my God! Has hell frozen over? A pro-military column (“Syria and Missile Defense,” November 21, 2013) in the Advocate? Surely the editors/publisher/habitual readers want these missiles only “manned” by gays and lesbians. There has to be some sort of catch if this is in the Advocate.

 

Medicare for All... Again

Even without universal coverage, the U.S. spends about $8,500/person/year [on healthcare], while other countries like Sweden spend about $4,000/person/year with universal coverage. The difference is that so much of our system is privatized. Large profits are taken out for exorbitant executive salaries, bonuses, lobbying, bribery, advertising, and private jets and yachts. What we need is a public option. We missed it as part of the Affordable Care Act by only one vote (Joe Leiberman’s). We should campaign for it again.

“Medicare for All” could be phased in five years at a time. Even with fraud, Medicare has only about 3 percent overhead expense as compared to about 30 percent for private insurance. It would be great to give Americans this choice.

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